Growth strategies

Bendix kicks off regional demonstrations

Bendix is hosting demonstrations to showcase its technology to give fleets, drivers, dealers and other industry professionals a firsthand view of the systems. Bendix is launching the 2019 season of its regional ride-and-drive demos March 12-14 at Houston Motorsports Park, Houston.

Bendix will follow with nine other regional demonstrations — part of a larger overall demo agenda — at locations throughout the United States and Canada into November, while also delivering a slate of customer-specific “at your door” demos. The 10 regional demos provide OEM-specific sessions, and any fleets and dealers in the demo area are welcome, as well as drivers and driver trainers. At these events, participants experience advanced technologies in real-world scenarios that drivers encounter daily, the company says.

“Nothing equals these in-person demos for delivering impact and understanding,” says Fred Andersky, Bendix manager of marketing demonstrations and customer interactions. “Literature, videos and talking to salespeople all have value in conveying the technology, but until you’re actually in the seat of a truck cab, you can’t truly appreciate the power and performance that these technologies can deliver — or their limitations.”

Andersky adds: “Bendix demos are designed to offer value on a number of levels. They help fleet managers and owner-operators determine if technologies being considered for purchase are right for their operations. Once new technologies are added, the demos help the customer get the most out of their safety technology investment by training the fleet’s drivers and driver trainers on the systems, a critical step that is too often overlooked.”

Driver training and education — a popular session the company offers at its regional demos — sets Bendix’s demo program apart, Andersky points out. Last year, the company expanded its training by adding a half-day session devoted to it at the regional demos.

The training opens with a classroom segment in which the demo team reviews the technologies, using video support, and answers questions. Then they move to the track, where participants log a couple of hours in the trucks, including behind the wheel, with Bendix demo drivers. A question-and-answer period closes the session. Bendix’s technology experts are on hand throughout, and attendees also can make use of interactive displays.

Bendix says it places a premium on offering drivers and driver trainers a well-rounded educational experience, punctuated by the time in the truck.

“Allowing drivers and driver trainers to experience the technology in real-world situations, with coaches available to aid understanding, helps them comprehend what the technology alerts mean and what to expect when the system intervenes,” Andersky says. “Most importantly, demo training shows how to make sure the system doesn’t intervene. In other words, driving in their normal safe and alert mode.”

Bendix shows the full spectrum of its safety technologies at the demos, including the advanced driver assistance system, Bendix Wingman Fusion and the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake. The company shows trailer technologies as well. This year will also showcase the accessibility and scope of the new Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program, air dryer technologies including the PuraGuard oil-coalescing air dryer filter, as well as the Bendix Intellipark automatic parking brake technology and, expected to join the demo program mid-year, steering control.

At every demo, company representatives emphasize that advanced safety technologies are designed to complement safe driving practices, and that no commercial vehicle safety technology replaces a skilled, alert driver exercising safe driving techniques. The drivers behind the wheel, supported by proactive, ongoing driver training, are vital to highway safety, and maintain responsibility for the safe operation of any vehicle at all times.

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